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With Me v2.0: Generations of Shared Humanity

"With Me v2.0" is a system of interactive experiences that utilizes design as a tool of inclusion to connect generations and encourage intergenerational learning through dialogue and play. By existing on a digital platform, which may sometimes cause the disconnect across generations, "With Me v2.0" intends to create a level of understanding of one another and a method to bridge the gap between generations through learning from each other.

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This is the second iteration of my concept from the Healthy Aging Challenge, which focused on the importance of connection through intergenerational dialogue. 

In order to better inspire and engage younger audiences and to flip the mentorship role, my concept has moved from analog experiences into digital experiences. The intention behind this is to encourage youth to use their digital knowledge to mentor older adults about technology while learning from each other through spending time together. The goal is to create a space of mutual learning. 

While we're all unique individuals with our own interests, likes, feelings, thoughts, and values, we share the same basic human needs -- the need to be social and the need to connect with one another. Our fast-paced, youth-driven culture of constant digital connection, has in a way, separated us from the basics of personal interaction that our elders are trying very much to hold on to. 

What happens if personal interaction is brought into the same space that has caused a disconnect? What happens when different generations spend time together in front of a computer, learning from each other, and abandoning the "loss of connection" that technology is often stereotyped to cause. 

With Me v2.0 is a set of digital experiences that encourages people to slow down and spend time with each other. They are simple, straight-forward interactions, in hopes that each person is able to create their own unique experiences as a synthesis of their past influences and experiences that they are bringing with them -- while teaching older adults about a platform that they may not be as familiar with. 

Talk With Me
Words trigger memories, which our lives are built upon. What happens when two people talk together about some of life's toughest words? Can we learn together? Can connections between generations be discovered? Will we understand each other better? 

Talk With Me is a game where individual words appear on the screen. Participants will alternate words and talk about what that word means to them. Some examples are love, gratitude, age, change, and travel. 

Recall With Me
Remembering together brings our memories to life. Sharing our stories reaffirms our shared humanity. Can remembering our past together form a bond in the future? 

Recall with Me is a game where the participants are given a blank screen with the opportunity of filling in life memories. The participants take turns writing short phrases, places, people or thoughts that come to mind. Creating one image of two separate lives. 

Connect With Me
We are all interconnected to one another. We could not live without each other. Being present in the moment allows us to truly experience the connection we are wired to have. What happens when two people spend time together working towards a shared goal? Even if the goal is a small game. 

In Connect With Me, two participants work together to create a continuous line. Each person will connect two dots on the screen building off of the last person's connection.The game is over when there aren't any connections left to be made. 

Below are a few ideas that I've been thinking of to inspire younger generations to support older adults, but would love any feedback or additional suggestions. 

Empathy Building College Elective
The games would be featured in a class offered to students pursuing a field in eldercare, nursing, or another profession where they will be working with older adults frequently. Through the games, students will have the opportunity to connect and spend time with older adults in order to further develop an empathetic connection. At the same time, the students will be teaching older generations about the technology that they're using to play the games. 

Computer Tutoring at Older Adult Organizations
I've come across a few organizations that have computer tutoring programs where a younger person volunteers their time to teach older generations about computers. From participating in one of these classes, I found that sometimes it's difficult to find a starting place with teaching about a technology that you're so familiar with. By having these games as a starting point, the volunteer can begin their tutoring session, while also getting to know the person they are spending time with. 

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input, skills or know-how of our OpenIDEO community?

I would love input on everything. Specifically on further gaining the interest of younger audiences to want to participate. I know there are organizations where younger audiences are already interested in the subject, but the part that I'm struggling with is gaining interest from those who aren't already involved.

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Congrats on this idea being today's Featured Contribution!

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